…life on the synaptic firing range

Location: Los Angeles, United States

Bent but unbroken Southern California native seeks understanding, companionship, and resonance along and off the beaten path. Teresa plays well with others and makes every effort to perform to her potential. Usually. *processed in a facility that processes nuts and nut products

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

you want a piece of me?

This may be the most important blog entry you’ll ever read.

I received an e-mail message Monday from a gentleman named Andrey Vladimirovich Popov. Rather, it was forwarded to me by a friend whose hard heart blinded him to the purity of Mr. Popov’s motives in pleading for financial assistance to save his little niece Elina’s life. Elina, he says, suffers from tetarado fallo, a rare and fatal congenital heart disease.

A bit of a skeptic myself—it’s the human condition, I’m afraid—I Googled Elina’s illness only to find Mr. Popov’s claim to be absolutely true: Tetarado fallo is in fact so rare the search query returns not a single hit on Google! Poor Elina, who is too young to understand, in Mr. Popov’s words, “that her life can be stopped suddenly in the absence of money.” (Mr. Popov’s awkward, foreigner’s grasp of English isn’t the least of his charms!)

Sure, I could have sent Mr. Popov the $1, $10, or $100 he requested—whatever I’m comfortable sending, his humble hat-in-hand tone conveyed. But, as is so often the case, I found myself wanting to do more than could be achieved with my own humble finances.

In a moment of pure inspiration I hooked Mr. Popov up with Dr. Bisi Odum, a Nigerian friend (pen pal? How are we to refer to letter friends in the age of e-mail?) I’ve been corresponding with for some months. Dr. Odum is in contact with someone in the employ of a government official who desperately needs help in transferring a great fortune he acquired while helping a disgraced dignitary to flee the country. When I first heard from Dr. Odum in June 2005, I wondered why on earth someone so remote and with such riches to share would contact me, and now I finally have my answer: because I was fated to act the catalyst for two needful men, one in need of a fortune and the other in need of someone (with a bank account) with whom to share his fortune. Serendipity, thy name is Scout!

I share with you this heartwarming tale to illustrate my sincere belief in the awesome power of humankind when united toward a common goal. Together we can do anything, from saving little Elina’s life through the largesse of opportunistic Nigerian government officials to enabling each other to actualize the greatness we harbor within, which brings me to my own humble story.

When you visit your local bookstore you may ask yourself, What do all these published authors have that Scout doesn’t have? More talent? More drive? People skills? Better ideas? Interesting lives? Connections? Agents? A contract? All are respectable answers, dear readers, but each fail to address the core issue: financial freedom.

Friends tell me, “Say, Scout, that Nicole Richie published a book, and she’s a complete moron. How come you don’t write a book?”

Well, Nicole Richie doesn’t spend eight hours a day fixing other people’s writing, does she? No. Her family is wealthy, because her dad was a Commodore and still gets residuals every time you hear “Three Times a Lady,” and I think he also had a solo career, and she therefore has plenty of money and plenty of time to write a novel, the content of which someone like me must fix in order to make her appear literate. Do you see how unfair the world is? Just because my father worked at an oil refinery instead of joining the Commodores—and my dad totally could have rocked “Brick House”—my voice is silenced.

You may be tempted to minimize my plight by insisting that I can write in my off hours. If such rationale makes you better able to ignore the sound of my soul screaming, that’s your demon to wrestle, but I would be remiss in not telling you that patrons of the arts sit at the right hand of God in heaven. (Unfortunately, everybody nowadays claims God promised him or her a seat at his right hand. To accommodate the influx of do-gooders, individual seats have been torn out and replaced with Astroturf for a “festival seating” atmosphere. Left-hand-of-God seating is still available, with preference given to American Express cardholders. God apologizes for any inconvenience or seating arrangements otherwise implied.)

When I come home from work I’m bone-tired. Some speak of “desk jobs” as though we office workers are just a bunch of lazy clock-watchers. Ha! Until they sit a spell in my ergonomic desk chair they simply can’t appreciate the challenge of reading sentence after clumsily executed sentence, a red pen poised just above the page, ready to correct any offending text. And as if that isn’t stressful enough, I often must contact informants to ensure that they’re represented accurately and that their names are spelled correctly and such, and those informants aren’t always cooperative with us journalistic types; sometimes they don’t want their names spelled correctly, but I press on in the service of accuracy.

As far as my weekends go, there’s so much to catch up on: laundry and grocery shopping and petting my animal companions, plus watching quality television like Meerkat Manor and Intervention. In other words, it’s simply impossible to write the great, great novel that lurks within me while working a full-time job. And that’s where you come in.

For a limited time, I’m offering readers of my blog the opportunity to support me in the lifestyle to which I aspire as I make the leap from anonymous copy editor to renowned author. Before you say “yes!” to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, read what the critics have been saying about Scout:

“As with real gems, I find myself not so much thinking, as just feeling dazzled.” —hopskipjump

“Can I get an ‘AMEN’?” —slangred

“Orgazzzzzzzzmic.” —eb

“The more I learn about you, the more fascinating you are.” —wordsrock

“God, I'm so turned on.” —wenwhit

Convinced? Don’t commit yet; here’s what you’ll get with your sponsorship:

• Lifetime membership in Scout’s fan club
• A personally inscribed copy of the novel you finance (impersonally autographed copies available on request for enterprising sorts who wish to sell theirs for big bucks on eBay)
• One or more characters in said novel named after you
• One insertion in said novel of something—an item, place, person, etc.—personally meaningful to you, so long as your requested insertion does not alter the plot. For instance, a request to incorporate your dachshund, a favorite café, or Cheetos® would be cheerfully granted, whereas a request to insert the poem you’ve written about your dachshund, favorite café, or Cheetos® may be refused if said novel is not amenable to a poet character
• Bragging rights
• Everlasting self-satisfaction for having enabled art to flourish

Ready to commit? Well, hold on to your girdles, because you haven’t heard the best part: All of this is available to you at the introductory Founders Circle™ rate of just $10,000! Not only that, but for every Founders Circle™ sponsorship sold, I will donate $1 in that member’s name to Elina Popov. This offer is strictly limited to those who accept it; once Founders Circle™ sponsorships have been issued to all who respond, there will be no more sold. Act now by sending your personal bank account information to

Remember: The greater the number of readers who respond to this unbelievable offer, the better my lifestyle will be.


Blogger NursePam said...

LOL! Perhaps he means tetralogy of fallot.

I would love to join the Scout fan club. If only I could remember where I put that extra 10k I've been meaning to give away ;^)

6:54 PM  
Blogger WenWhit said...

You didn't get the check I sent to Sporks?

7:00 PM  
Blogger sporksforall said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:06 PM  
Blogger sporksforall said...

I've got your check in escrow, wen. No worries.

Papa Scout could no more rock "Brick House" than our cat Halo could.

Still, I can't wait for the checks to come pouring in.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Slangred said...

If I donate, I'll ask you to incorporate Jesus (the smelly one) or Fake British Accent into your novel in honor of my donation. Or, your dad rocking "Brick House" whilst your mom dances flamenco (after all those lessons she had at Every Woman's Village).
You still want my money? :)

7:48 PM  
Blogger WenWhit said...

Ooh, a woman that handles money effectively. God, I'm so turned on.

6:49 AM  
Blogger treecup said...

I've always dreamed of being "Treecup, brought to you, in part, by a generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. McCarther Foundation." Unfortunately, I don't actually *do* anything to merit such sponsorship.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I so want a character named after me. But you have to make sure your readers pronouce it 'e-bee' not 'eb' like the guy from Green Acres. I don't want anyone thinking I'm 'eb.' Ah-lee-vahr was always yelling at Eb.

You have to make sure eb is really sexxxxyy. Orgazzzmic, if you will. Give me nice knees. I really hate my knees. Oh, and no Quasimodo eye. Both eyes have to be the same size.

My vibrating, gyrating, red dildo with a super vibrating, clit-tickling silver bullet is particularly special to me. Don't make it loud. It's loud. Any character in the story would prefer it to not be loud. Though I suppose you could get some comic relief out of that.

I'll get back to you on the whole money issue. I've got this deal worked out where I only have to get the drugs across the border.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous hopskipjump said...

Why don't you auction off sponsorships on e-Bay? That way we really could send you some mula. I am totally serious. Why not? And the DIFFERENCE between your "goofy" auction and other peoples' goofy auctions will be that the sponsors will really get something for their money.

In comiseration: You are right about artists of course. I know many painters and writers who are virtually sponsored by their spouces who work, clean, cook, do the childcare, etc. Must be nice. My own father was a painter (think Gauguin) who produced paintings in spite of his 9-5 machine designing job, BUT, with the benefit of wives, roommates, and early retirement. I was career counselor at a major fine art school (and a student later). The common advice was to simply have two careers: one for art, one for money.

But this is a brave new world. You tell us when you appear on e-Bay and I'll be the first to send a contribution! I heard about a guy who traded up a red paper clip for, eventually, a house. If people can sell potato chips with smiley faces, good literature should go like hot cakes.

3:58 PM  
Blogger bryduck said...

Lol, big time. I'm pretty sure your Dad could indeed have rocked "Brick House". Who couldn't? But I digress.
I want to make sure I get full credit for having started this train in motion; yes, it was I who sent Popov's email to scout. It was I who was heartless enough to make a joke of this poor, poor afflicted girl's medical traumas. I admit it, I thought it was a scam. I have been too, too often taken in by promises of email riches and glory, but I've seen the light, and am suckered no more. Is next Tuesday ok to send my check?

9:56 AM  
Blogger WenWhit said...

"It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living."

~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau

10:31 AM  
Blogger weese said...

will you take Pay Pal?

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



7:25 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home